Saturday, July 31, 2010

Vancouver: Day 3

Happy anniversary to the love of my life!

One year ago today, I married the most charismatic, handsome, brilliant person I've ever known and promised to love him unconditionally for the rest of my life.

Tonight at 5:00pm (which is 7:00pm CST - the exact moment we said "I Do" one year ago) we said cheers over a bottle of wine and the beautiful British Columbia backdrop. We recounted the way we felt that day, the way our nerves floated away into the air as we saw each other and knew we were about to embark on the greatest adventure of our lives. Here's to Andi - my soul mate and my best friend. I love you more than you'll ever know.


Today is also Day 3 of our trip to British Columbia. Andi let me sleep in this morning and I awoke around 9:00am to the gorgeous view of the water and the mountains outside our window. Andi had been up for a few hours already and booked us massages At The Water's Edge Spa just down the road. He'd also spent the early morning photographing the forest near our bed and breakfast Seastone which is so peaceful and serene. The British Columbia license plates tout this as the best place on Earth and I'm starting to agree - it's paradise.

We spent the rest of the morning at the spa each having a massage and relaxing by the waterfront. This trip has been so relaxing, lots of time reading by the water and quality time together. Yesterday Andi was laughing at me a little - I fell asleep TWICE during our conversations. It just feels so nice to shut my brain off and unwind.

The Spa

Afterwards we ate lunch in town, then drove up the coast to Smuggler's Cove - a hiking trail about a half hour outside of Sechelt. We had a great time walking inside the forest of trees and taking in all the breathtaking views of the water below. There's tons of gigantic boats here - huge sailing, yachts and catamarans in almost every bay. Andi was laughing at me observing the bark peeling off one of the trees on our hike - I never cease to amaze him, he said. I guess if there's one thing he accomplished in knowing me it's turning this city girl into an outdoorsy one (somewhat, at least). Today at Smuggler's Cove was fun! We laughed and talked as we hiked along the trails. A great way to spend our anniversary together.

Tonight there's a neighborhood pig roast down by the water at our place. The owners invited us down to celebrate the long weekend - British Columbia Day is on Monday and everyone has the day off of work. We'll probably cruise down there for a bit and hang with the locals.

Tomorrow we leave the Sunshine Coast early and take the ferry back to Vancouver. Our plan's to drive up to Whistler before flying home late tomorrow night. Although our time in B.C. is nearing an end, we're enjoying spending time together on our very first wedding anniversary.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vancouver: Days 1 & 2

Well, we made it to Canada, eh.

Yesterday we flew out after work and arrived in Vancouver around 8:30pm PST. We rented a car and drove to our hotel downtown. Getting around here is super easy so far - Canada almost feels like an extension of the U.S. and our trusty GPS (which I threw into the bag last minute) has helped us find almost everything we've needed so far.

After checking into our hotel last night (and being upgraded to a suite for no charge!) we dropped our bags and walked out of the hotel toward the Sea Wall - a boardwalk of sorts that lines the waterway (Inlet? - I think that's what it's called here). We strolled along hand in hand and marveled at all the sail boats in the harbor. We were both starving after having traveling well into the evening and walked over to the Yale Town neighborhood for some dinner. The entire downtown Vancouver area (or at least the parts we saw) were clean and reminded Andi and I of a mix between San Diego, San Francisco and Colorado. I loved how you could walk along the water and enter into all types of neighborhoods, each filled with different restaurants and bars and condos. We stopped into a restaurant called Regional Tasting Lounge which featured rotating tapas menus from around the globe. The food was very fancy and gave us a taste of British Columbia. Also sitting next to us at the restaurant was a transvestite which I have to say, is an acceptable lifestyle choice - just not one this Nebraska girl is used to seeing. Andi and I barely spoke at dinner - I think we were too affixed at eavesdropping on her conversation.

View of downtown Vancouver
from our stroll along the Sea Wall

Our suite at the Sheraton Wall Centre

This morning, we woke up early and went to Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver. Think Central Park meets the Redwood Forest in Northern California. The giant park was beautiful with tall trees and fresh air (lord, the air is fresh up here!). We didn't have much time as we were due to catch a ferry to the Sunshine Coast at 9:30am, so we did a quick drive thru and stopped at a few points of interest along the way.

Stanley Park
Yacht Club Harbor

Stanley Park
Totem Poles

Stanley Park
Lion's Gate Bridge

Afterwards, we drove to nearby Horseshoe Bay to catch the ferry. I was a little nervous about the whole thing - I've ridden a ferry before but never drove my car onto one so I wasn't sure how it'd all play out. But I have to say, Canadians have it figured out! The process was so smooth and the workers were so friendly and helpful. Easy breezy. We drove our car right onto the boat and in about 30 minutes we were cruising along, waving good-bye to Vancouver.
Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal

B.C. Ferry

Canadian Ferries = much cozier than Thai Ferries

Today we spent the day in Sechelt, British Columbia which is North of Vancouver (also called the Sunshine Coast). The name is sliiightly misleading; it's a brisk 21 degrees Celsius (whatever that means!) so we we've been wearing hoodies and pants most of the time. It is gorgeous, however, and we're in awe of our surroundings. We spent the day driving up the coast, eating lunch at the Lighthouse Pub overlooking the marina and taking a nice, peaceful nap at our guest house called Seastone at Sandy Hook.

Seastone Bed and Breakfast


Outdoor shower and dining area

Private Patio

View from our patio

Tonight's sunset from our patio

So far our time in Canada has been great! And while most of the area reminds us of being at home, we've noticed a few differences between here and the U.S. Let us enlighten you:
  1. B.C. is super dog-friendly. Which I LOVE. Everywhere you turn, everyone's got a dog on a leash (even on the ferry!) and there's cute little dog water fountains all over town.
  2. Uh, it's already fall here. In July. The leaves are starting to change color and littering the ground in colors of orange, red and yellow.
  3. Almost everyone speaks English here and even accepts U.S. currency but we can't help but notice the hint of French being spoken here as well. The lady at Customs welcomed us with a "bonjour!" I told Andi - don't worry, I took 4 years of French in high school, but sadly all I can remember is hello, good-bye and I'm doing OK. That's not going to get us far ...
  4. As I said before, B.C. is sooo clean. The water's pure, the air's fresh and there's no trash anywhere.
  5. The dress code? Very "outdoor recreational." Think REI on steroids - lots of North Face, Mountain Hardware and Columbia gear.
  6. Lots of organic and farm-to-table restaurants here, which I love. Almost all coffee shops feature organic coffee and telling customers where the food is from seems almost second-nature.
  7. There's a Starbucks on every stickin' corner in Vancouver. As Andi pointed out, Seattle is just across the border - which makes sense. Always thinking, that husband of mine.
  8. Vancouver makes us feel closer to Robin Sparkles from How I Met Your Mother. Oh how we love that show.
  9. We bought a Kit Kat today and it was different, but good. More chocolate, less wafer. I prefer Canadian.
  10. Alcohol is sooo expensive here! OMG. We went to the liquor store this afternoon to pick up a bottle of wine and were floored by the prices. A box of wine was $50 (Mom - can you believe that?!) and a bottle of cheap Gallo was $17. The guy in line before us picked up a 12pk of Budweiser and a bottle of Smirnoff for $77. Seriously, you have to really want to drink up here!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pre-Anniversary Celebration

Tonight, Andi and I celebrated our anniversary a little early by visiting the place where we got married just one year ago on Saturday.  Since we'll be out of town on our actual anniversary date, we wanted to carve out some time to visit the gardens where we said our vows and dine at the restaurant we took our family to after our wedding.

I looked forward to tonight all day long - came home a little early from work, spruced myself up and met Andi around 4pm. We drove down to Wayzata to Noerenberg Gardens. It's such a beautiful site - lots of fresh summer flowers and directly overlooking Lake Minnetonka.

I printed a copy of our vows and we recited them to each other as we sat on a bench overlooking the water. Then we took some photos (because people, that's what we do!) of ourselves in the spot where we said "I do."

We were married inside these columns on July 31, 2009.  Our parents, siblings and our pastor by our side as we said "I do."

One of my favorite wedding photos was taken under this boat dock overlooking the water. That photo from our wedding day hangs in our living room and reminds me everyday how happy I am to be married to that man.

We have about a million photos of us walking inside Noerenberg Gardens on our wedding day. It felt special to walk those same brick pathways tonight as I remembered how I felt the day I married my best friend.

I'll never forget how special - or how windy! - our wedding day was. Andi and I said over and over tonight - we'd never change a thing about that day: our wedding day was the most magical day we could have ever dreamed.

After visiting Noerenberg Gardens, we went to dinner at NorthCoast in Wayzata, the restaurant we took our family to dinner following our wedding. We asked to sit at a booth, directly in view of the table we dined with our family that night and one that overlooked the water. Tonight we dined on yellow fin tuna, flank steak and lemon custard dessert. Dinner was just as good as we remembered on our wedding night. We talked about our wedding night and how perfect our dream came to fruition. We talked about the year gone past and how lucky we are to have found one another.

I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Tomorrow we work, then off to Vancouver, British Columbia to celebrate our anniversary in style. Andi's got a whole weekend planned for us - a one-year anniversary to remember.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Janie's Birthday

One thing I'm extremely thankful for is Andi's family. They're all fantastic and I feel like I fit right in.

Yesterday we celebrated Andi's mom Janie's birthday and went canoeing down the St. Croix River about an hour away from our house. My own family isn't very outdoors-y so this was my first time canoeing. I have to admit, I was a little nervous but it was so easy! And so fun!

The birthday girl

Lindsay (L) and Chad (R)

The Girls
Lindsay (L), Me (Center), Janie (R)

and The Boys
Jim (L), Andi (Center), Chad (R)

Chloe came canoeing too

We brought a picnic of fancy cheeses, bread, crackers, fruit and all-natural lemonade for a mid-trip snack. And of course, we took the opportunity to take a few group pictures because, well, that's just what we do :)

Mother and Son
Janie (L) and Andi (R)

and Mother and Daughter, of course
Janie (L) and Lindsay (R)

Jim (L) and Janie (R) 

My handsome husband and I

Our family

A great day canoeing for sure! Happy birthday Janie!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Holding my breath

Andi and I went to church this morning for the first time in a long time. Since renting the lake cabin, we've spent nearly every weekend in Crosslake and I've missed the opportunity to spend Sunday mornings at our hometown church, singing songs and listening to God's message. It felt really good to be back today.

The pastor's message reminded us how God is always the same, never faltering during times of joy or times of sorrow. It always amazes me how God speaks to me there. Lately I've been all twitchy about how "good" things are in our lives. On Saturday, we'll celebrate our one year anniversary. The best year of my life lived beside my best friend, lover, soul mate. We both have good careers we enjoy and in fact, Andi's new business is thriving. Our families are healthy and happy. We're so, so lucky. And I know it. I'm very thankful for God's grace.

And yet ...

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Isn't that horrible? I feel guilty for even letting these thoughts creep into my mind! I should be revealing in the happiness that is surrounding us at this very moment but lately all I can do is worry about how perfect everything is going. After listening to the pastor's message today, I know all I can do is love God and know he's here during times of strength and times of weakness. We can do anything with Him by our side. Please Lord keep us strong.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Signs We're Getting Old

My brother's visiting this weekend and brought along three of his college-age friends. While I'm trying my best to be the "cool" big sister who can handle them partying and scouting for girls, inside I'm secretly biting my nails and watching out the window a gazillion times to see if they're home safely. Five minutes into their arrival, I gave them a run-down of my house rules: be respectful of the neighbors (no peeing in the alley behind our house!), no drinking and driving and no smoking. Yesterday they went to the Apple River for some drunkin' tubing down the river and both Andi and I mentioned how pissed we'd be if one of them didn't stay sober to drive home. I ask you - when was the moment I turned into my mother?!

Being much overdue, I decided to mow, trim and weed the lawn yesterday.When I finished the 2 hour activity of maintaining a yard the size of a matchbox, my legs were so tired I could barely stand. What used to be a routine activity now requires stretching?

Last night Andi and I went to Lumberjack Days in Stillwater, Minnesota. We patted ourselves on the back a few times for actually doing something fun on a Friday night. Novel idea, right? We're usually exhausted after a long work week. We walked around the community festival, ate corn dogs and nachos. It was another one of those moments where I felt stuck in the middle.  Everyone there was either 16 and wearing the smallest shorts possible (with matching skinny 16yo legs) or parents with babies in Ergo carriers. We had neither. After a few hours of wandering around, we went to Target and were in bed by 10pm.

Life as a 29 year old is lively.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cause for concern?

If there's one area Andi and I differ, it's about going to the doctor.

I hate going. Actually, I despise it. And Andi? I swear he goes at the sign of the sniffles.

Thailand was the only time this difference has come to bite me in the ass. Day 7(ish) of our honeymoon, Andi came down with what can only be described as the worst flu/bacterial infection known to man. I shrieked when he mentioned the idea of going to a Thai doctor for antibiotics. After all, these are the same doctors who advertise general practice, boob jobs and transgender reassignment all in one place! My gut says, not a logical solution. While Andi laid in bed for the remainder of our honeymoon in absolute agony, I rolled my eyes and wished he wouldn't be so dramatic. Yeah, it turns out he really was deathly ill and should have seen a doctor. Or so the American doctor said 30 minutes after we arrived home. Easy to say that in hindsight ...

So, yes, I've been wrong before when it comes to letting the sickness ride.

And then there's this.

I told you how I had the flu this weekend. Body aches, headache and a killer side pain that just won't stop. Well, unless you count the times I've taken an absorbent number of Ibuprofen over the last 5 days ... and even I'm starting to think it's getting excessive. Today I do feel better overall, but I'm still a little dizzy and the side pain is still hanging on.

So I Googled "what is the cause of pain on my right side" and this is what the all mighty Internet said:

#1. Ouch! A sharp side pain can be a sign of a variety of medical conditions ranging from simple trapped gas to serious conditions requiring surgery such as appendicitis. Consult a doctor immediately if symptoms persist.

#2. Side pain that occurs on the right side can be a sign of appendicitis, particularly if it's associated with nausea, vomiting, and fever. Because appendicitis is a condition that requires surgery, time is of essence and you should be seen by a doctor immediately.

#3. Unique to women, sharp side pain can be the presence of an ectopic pregnancy. If you are pregnant, or think you might be, see a doctor immediately.

#4. Sharp side pain in a woman can also be caused by the presence of an ovarian cyst that ruptures. For this reason, always see your doctor if you have side pain with vaginal bleeding.

#5. Other conditions that can cause sharp side pain are the presence of a kidney stone. Chronic sharp side pains can also be caused by an undiagnosed colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease. If this sounds like you, see a doctor immediately.

#6. Although sharp side pains can simply mean you need a dose of Gas-X, don't ever make this assumption. Sharp side pain that lasts for more than a few hours should always be evaluated by a doctor.


Well, chalk one up for Andi. Looks like I'll be visiting the doctor on Friday. Let's just hope #1-6 doesn't happen this week while I'm traveling for work. Eeeek!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Home Sick

In Nebraska this weekend, I had a lovely time with family and friends.

While there, I also caught a nice case of the flu which became increasingly worse throughout the weekend. Luckily, it wasn't a debilitating case. I had a bad case of body aches, a killer headache and sharp, stabbing pains in my right side. Nothing leaving my body from the mouth or uh, the other end. Which is a good thing since I spend 14 hours in the car this weekend; a bad thing because if I'm going to be sick, I at least want the kind where I lose a few pounds!

Anyway, I woke up this morning still feeling like crap. And after being on the go for, well, all summer I thought to myself "why not take a sick day?" It's something I think I've only done one other time in my nearly 4 years at my job. I always worry my boss will think I'm less of an over-achiever if I take a sick day (way to go first-born perfectionist personality!) I didn't care today. I felt horrible.

So I stayed home. Slept in. Took a bubble bath. Watched morning talk shows and afternoon soaps. Around 3pm, I started feeling better (thank goodness because I'm traveling the next three days!) and decided to do a few summer bucket list tasks that allowed me to stay in bed to complete.

I re-organized our file drawer and transferred important documents into the fire safe my parent's bought us for Christmas (nothing like being six months late on that one). Still felt good so I made a diaper cake for my cousin Jen's baby shower. I'm not quite finished with that one (still need to buy some ribbon) but I think it turned out pretty cute!

And I did a little work from my laptop too, so I wasn't a complete waste.

Tomorrow I travel to St. Joseph, Missouri for a three-day training about cooking hamburgers. Thank goodness I'm feeling better ...

Brooke's 3rd Birthday

My little niece Brooke turned 3 years old this month. It's hard to believe she's that old already - she's growing into such a little girl and changes so much every time I see her.

This weekend, my sister was kind enough to throw her 3rd birthday party during a weekend Andi and I were planning to be home. She rented a shelter at a local park and decorated it with lots of pink balloons, a princess banner and streamers (which Brookie loved playing with). My sister Ashley also made Brooke her very own princess crown with her name on it - super cute!

The birthday girl posing with her birthday treats

Look at this princess birthday cake! 
My sister ordered it from Wal-Mart if you can believe it. 
The kids at the party were going ga-ga for it.

Brooke and her friend Avery

The birthday girl with Nana

My sister Ashley with the birthday girl

This girl is L-O-V-E-D!
So many presents to open and almost all of them were princess themed

It's her party and she can pout if she wants to

Blowing out her candles ...

What a little princess!

Funniest thing Brookie said all weekend:

ME: Is your name Brooklyn or Brooke?

B: Brooke

ME: Isn't Brooke short for Brooklyn?

B: Hey! I'm not short!

She's too cute! We had such a great weekend spending time with all our family and friends!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reason enough to be excited

I'm so excited tonight I just may burst.

We're heading to Nebraska tomorrow to see my best friend Ashley and her husband Neal on Friday night and then venturing onward to my parent's house on Saturday for my niece Brookie's 3rd birthday party. I haven't seen Ashley and Neal since our wedding reception in October and haven't been home since April so I'm beyond ready to get back.

Brookie's birthday party on Saturday should be a blast. She's having a princess birthday party (not Disney, just princess she'll tell you). My sister went crazy with this gigantic castle cake she had made. Insane. I'll have to post some pics of that for sure. I can't believe what a difference 3 years makes in a small child. In a matter of weeks, Brooke's speech has increased from words strung together (which can make it difficult for someone like me who doesn't see her very often) to full and complete sentences. It's amazing - I can finally talk on the phone with her and actually understand her! The other night, our conversation went something like this:

ME: I get to see you on Saturday!

B: You comin' to my birfday [birthday] party?

ME: Yep!

B: Is Anni [Andi] comin'?

ME: Yep!

B: Oh thank you Header [Heather]!

B: OK, bye. I luv [love] you.

It was so darn cute my heart melted. Seriously makes me want to go to the store and buy that girl all the presents I can find. I could just eat her up!

Tonight, I also received the first part of Andi's wedding anniversary present. It is so amazing! He is going to die when I give it to him. Now, usually I'm the worst with presents - it kills me to keep them a secret. But this one's so good I actually want to hold it close to the vest. I can't wait to give it to him on July 31.

Speaking of our wedding anniversary... we're all set for our trip to Vancouver. Well, by set I mean we have the tickets. We'll see what Andi comes up with for places to stay and stuff to do. According to our handy dandy friends on the weekend of our anniversary is also a national holiday in Canada so they say it'll be super busy. Ah, great. I'm sure we'll still find plenty of fun things to do, hopefully minus the crowds. Our WWW friends also advise us to check out the Sunshine Coast - suppose to be a beautiful countryside place with lots of cottages and bed and breakfasts, etc. We'll see what Andi has in store ...

So that's reason enough to be excited tonight... except for the part where Chloe just took a dump on our bed and Andi's paddling her to death (but we'll pretend like that never happened)!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

340 days ...

This time last year I was counting the days until my wedding day. I could tell you (and believe I told everyone!) the exact number of days until I'd become Andi's wife.

And today? It's been 340 days since I have been. Hard to believe how fast it's flown by.

Our first wedding anniversary is quickly approaching on July 31. I've put some considerable thought into how I want to celebrate the 365 day mark with my husband. I'm excited for it to come and yet I'm sad this day has come so quickly. We'll never be newlyweds again... so we have to celebrate BIG!

At the beginning of the summer we talked about going to the cabin for our anniversary. Since our wedding was small and simple, we considered having a big party to celebrate with our closest friends. We were also afraid we wouldn't have enough time up there this summer. But since we've been to the cabin 10+ times already we decided to do something else to celebrate. Just us two.

You all know how Andi is about planning travel. He's wicked good at it and makes it his mission to find the absoluate best deal out there. For the last two weeks, he's talked to just about everyone we know soliciting suggestions on cool places in the U.S. We considered Europe for a hot second but I don't have enough vacation stored up to be gone for more than a day or two. We considered the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina or driving the coast of the Appalachians but none of the flight deals worked with our travel dates. And then last night Andi suggested Vancouver, Canada ... and then this morning he called and said he booked tickets!

So we're going to Vancouver for our anniversary!!!

I have no idea what we're going to do when we get there. I've never been to Canada so I'm excited to go somewhere new and explore. Have any of you ever been there? I'm sure my husband will find a great adventure for us.

One thing I do want to do to celebrate back home is spend an evening at Noerenberg Gardens - the place we said "I do." It get all teary-eyed thinking about going back there and reciting our vows to one another. It's going to be a special month for sure.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Recap

Fourth of July felt like a regular 'ole weekend to me this year, I told Andi a few times today. With a gorgeous cabin on the lake and many of our closest friends around us we ate, drank and laughed ourselves silly ... which feels like standard protocol around here lately.

Saying we're lucky would be an understatement.

We had another fabulous (extended) weekend at the cabin -- this time, celebrating America's independence.

On Thursday afternoon, Andi and I drove up North to meet our friends Derrick and Ellie (who drove in from Chicago earlier in the week) and our friend Brian. Derrick and Ellie are two of our closest friends and we always have a blast spending time with them. That night we made dinner, relaxed at the cabin and took a sunset cruise on the lake. Pure heaven as far as I'm concerned.

Andi hired a fishing guide for early Friday morning and took Derrick and Brian fishing on nearby Pelican Lake. At first, Andi wanted the fishing expedition to be a couple thing, but after receiving a firm "no" to my questions "can I tan on the boat?" and "will there be drinking?" I politely suggested it best be a "boys only" activity. So the boys set out for fishing bright and early at 6:00am and made out big (!) bringing home 28 Northern, Bass and Walleye fish (and those were only the keepers). They were so excited as they told Ellie and I all about their adventures that morning. It couldn't have been any cuter.

Derrick (L) and Andi (R) with a small mouth bass

Derrick got a big one!

What a handsome hunk (the boy - not the fish!)

Derrick (L) and Brian (R) reeling in their catch

Back at the cabin on Friday afternoon, the five of us hit the grocery and liquor store to stock up for the weekend and spend the remainder of the afternoon on the pontoon for more fishing and sun tanning (well, OK girl talk).

Friday evening, our friends Tom and Niki, John and Carna, Justin and Jessica, and Levi and Kristin came over for a fresh fish fry. After dinner as we were all gathered on the outdoor patio drinking cocktails, laughing and talking I had one of those "freeze in your tracks" moments where I realized how lucky Andi and I are to have this life. We have some amazing friends. I couldn't think of a better place I'd rather be.

(L-R) Levi, Kristin, Derrick, Ellie

Well, except at my niece Brookie's 3rd birthday party which was also happening Friday night in Nebraska. My dad sent me some photos / video of her little birthday celebration and I was able to talk to her for a bit on the phone. She told me how she's three years old now and how she blew out her candles. We're heading back to Nebraska next weekend for her official family birthday party on Saturday - can't wait to give her a squeeze!

Saturday we opted to do something new. After Brian's girlfriend Melissa drove up from the Cities we headed into town to tube down the Pine River. Ever been tubing down the river? An afternoon of floating down a river in a gigantic black inter tube, tied to a floating cooler of beer is an absolute summer rite of passage. While this river was a tad on the shallow side (I think Andi spent more time walking / pulling my tube down the river) we still have a great time basking in the Minnesota sun.

Saturday night we opted for dinner on the town at Old Milwaukee Club in Ideal Corners, Minnesota. This is the place that serves all-you-care-to-eat something or other every night (Saturday night was chicken) and the place I know Andi will drag us back to for all-you-care-to-eat crab legs night before the summer ends. While I did not partake in the AYCTE chicken, I did have a great steak. And better yet, our bill was $31.00. Seriously, who can beat that?

Sunday (good lord, yes! this weekend celebration is still going!) we woke up, made breakfast and headed into town for some last-minute groceries. Upon arrival back to the cabin, we spontaneously decided to enter the Lake O'Brien boat parade and pulled out our White Trash Party attire. We had about 20 minutes to pull our gear together (nothing like planning ahead with our group!) then we hauled outside, loaded up the boat and joined the parade just in time blaring "Proud to be an American" as we cruised the banks of the lake.

Following this ... well, it's all a blur. I can tell you everyone had a very good time....

Cruising during the Fourth of July Boat Parade

(L-R) Melissa, Ellie and I
Finally rockin' our white trash attire!

My sexy husband
Hands down, best outfit of the day!

Our friend Joe
The jean bandanna was my fav

Ellie and I

Melissa and Brian

Ellie and Derrick

The Game of Skipping Rocks
Give boys water, lake rocks and booze and they'll always find entertainment

Robin, our 4th of July visitor from Nebraska
If this doesn't sum up our day, I don't know what does...

And today .... we're home. Exhausted from a great weekend with friends. Very thankful for all we have. Happy birthday America!